Beautiful stock certificate from the Gilmore Airship Company
issued in 1910. This historic document has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the company's name. This item has the signatures of the Company’s President, Ivan H. Parker and Secretary, Lyman Gilmore Jr..
Lyman Wiswell Gilmore, Jr. (June 11, 1874 Beaver Creek, Thurston County, Washington- February 18, 1951) was an aviation pioneer. In Grass Valley, California, USA, he built a steam-powered airplane and claimed that he flew it on May 15, 1902. Due to the requirement of a heavy boiler and the dependency on coal as a power source, the flights would have been short. Proofs of his claim were lost in a 1935 hangar fire.
Lyman built a steam-powered airplane and may have flown it on May 15, 1902.
There are photographs from 1898 showing Gilmore's machine, but none showing it in the air. The claims of the aircraft achieving flight are unconfirmed, and given the weight evident by the grounded aircraft photos, the possibility of flight is highly disputed.
Some people who remember him claim that Lyman Gilmore, an eccentric man, vowed to never cut his hair or beard, and wore a trench coat even in the middle of summer.
Lyman Gilmore was in contact with other flight pioneers like Samuel Langley and, eventually, the Wright brothers.
In 1902, Gilmore was granted two patents on steam engines, the first of which was granted in 1902. He invented in other areas too, for example a rotary snowplow. On March 15, 1907, Gilmore opened the first commercial airfield, Gilmore Airfield, in Grass Valley. There is now middle school named in his honor on the site of the airfield.
Local legend says Gilmore wore the same long coat for years and was never far from it. It continues to say that when he was involuntarily hospitalized for his last illness the coat and all of his long-worn clothing were burned. While he had never accumulated much money, it was said that all he had was sewn into the lining of that coat and was destroyed with it.
After the fire in his hangar, Gilmore began mining for gold and died a poor man in Nevada City, California. His grave can be found in Pine Grove Cemetery, about a half mile outside of town.
History from Encyberpedia and
stock certificate research service)